Anatomy of a Holiday Contest Campaign: Overstock.com

Posted by on December 4, 2007 at 1:13 pm.

First, I’d like to thank Overstock.com for sponsoring this charity post (via PayPerPost) — donating a goodly sum to the Alzheimer’s Walk on my behalf. Campaigns like this are a great way to do good, while also doing well with corporate marketing — and, for me, writing a post is a fun and easy way to give.

Overstock just kicked off a Holiday contest called the “All I want for Christmas Giveaway“. I like that it’s multi-model, incorporating YouTube, blogs, on-site video, site navigation and tell-a-friend email. For example, here’s their YouTube teaser:

The contest started December 3 and appears to be running for only the next 5 days, with winners each day and a final Grand Price winner. I see that Sandra from Florida was the Day 1 winner of a 37-inch LCD HDTV. After this contest walk-through, maybe you’ll be next. I really like the concept that you can win anything at Overstock (up to $1,000) — more exciting and immediately exposes registrants to Overstock shopping. My post introduces the contest, while also sharing some feedback for Overstock’s contest team.

The contest welcome page is pretty straightforward, embedding the contest teaser video. Feedback: Cute video introducing the concept, but doesn’t create much excitement.

Upon clicking “Begin”, you reach the contest registration page. Feedback: I’m not sure why you have to select a cute little snow-avatar. I think the IMPORTANT message is good, but should probably reference spam filters for the novice user. I also think the email permission should be default No, instead of Yes.

Upon clicking “Next”, you reach the “Choose a Gift” page and video instructions autoplay. Feedback: Although I typically don’t like autoplay video, this is a good use for it. Contest participation requires a couple steps and the video does a good job explaining. Although the use of win@overstockcontest.com was innovative (saving developer effort), I worry Overstock will lose a bunch of registrants during the gift selection process.

Speaking of gift selection, the best part comes after clicking “Choose a Gift”. You get to browse or search all of Overstock.com for the gift you’d like to win — any product at Overstock.com (up to $1,000). Given that you can pick a new gift every day, I went for a 20GB/32X Digital Video Camera yesterday and a 32″ LCD monitor today. Feedback: It would be interesting to see a page including all the gifts others are selecting — to jumpstart some ideas. Long-term, it would be best to have a one-click gift/contest button alongside all items instead of the win@ email kludge.

The final step is to select the friends you would like to win with you. In other words, if you win, those friends that register will win also. For example, I hooked up Nicholas Chance over at KidReviewer.com. Feedback: Viral growth might go even faster if the win-sharing was both directions — I win if they win.

As you can tell from the fact I’ve played a couple days, I like this holiday contest. It’s much more interesting than winning one specific item (e.g. “win an iPod”) and the opportunity to help friends win is smart. I’ve known about Overstock for a long time, but I have to admit participating in this contest exposed me to much more of their site and products. That’s a win-win for me and Overstock…and maybe you!

Related images: overstock, gifts, gift ideas, all i want for christmas

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